Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14
Any sex offense is incredibly serious. However, Boston sex crimes involving minor victims carry some of the most severe punishments in all of criminal law. Those convicted of assault and battery on a child under 14 could face a sentence of up to 10 years in state prison. If you face allegations that you committed a child sex crime, reach out to the Law Offices of Patrick J. Murphy for immediate assistance. Attorney Murphy has over 25 years of experience helping defend his clients’ freedom, no matter what they are charged with or what their record looks like.What Makes Contact “Indecent”?
Unlike many other legal terms, there is no definition of “indecent” in the Massachusetts General Statutes. Thus, when judges or juries decide an indecent assault case, they will use their common sense to determine whether the defendant’s conduct was “indecent.” That said, touching certain parts of the body has routinely been held to be indecent. This includes the buttocks, genitals or pubic regions of males and females, as well as the thighs, abdomen and breasts of females.
Of course, touching alone is insufficient to prove you guilty of indecent assault. The context in which a touching occurs is critical to this analysis. For example, accidentally brushing up against a minor’s rear end on a crowded bus is not likely to result in criminal charges. However, when coupled with an inappropriate comment, that same action could be enough to charge you with indecent assault and battery of a child.Elements of Indecent Assault and Battery of a Child
Every criminal offense has certain elements that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt before a judge or jury can convict you of the crime. The elements for indecent assault and battery of a child are:
- The alleged victim was under the age of 14;
- The defendant intended to touch the alleged victim;
- The defendant made contact; and
- The contact was of an indecent nature.
When it comes to indecent assault of a child under 14, the statute defining the offense specifically states that the alleged victim's consent is not a defense.Punishment for Indecent Assault of a Child
If you are convicted of indecent assault of a child under 14 in Boston, you will face a term of incarceration up to ten years in state prison or up to 2.5 years in a house of correction. Additionally, you will be required to register as a sex offender. If you have a prior sex offense on your record, you will face a minimum of 15 years in prison.Aggravated Indecent Assault of a Child
In certain circumstances, indecent assault of a child carried a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in state prison. These cases typically involve an offense committed by someone designated as a mandatory reporter of child abuse or those offenses committed during the court of another serious felony. For example, a school teacher is a mandatory reporter and would face aggravated indecent assault charges if convicted of assaulting a student. If convicted of aggravated indecent assault of a child under 14, there is no maximum punishment, and you will not be eligible for probation, parole or work release for at least ten years.Contact a Respected Boston Criminal Defense Attorney for Immediate Assistance
If you face allegations of child sexual abuse, the situation couldn’t be more serious. Your freedom and your life are on the line. You need an attorney who is ready to take on what will certainly be an aggressive prosecution. Attorney Murphy is a veteran Boston criminal defense lawyer with more than 25 years of experience standing up for the rights of individuals charged with sex crimes. He understands the challenges these cases present and has the knowledge, skill and dedication to take on even the toughest cases. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Murphy, give him a call at (617) 367-0450 today.